Trump vetoes legislation to strike down his emergency declaration for border wall

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"As president, the protection of the nation is my highest duty", Trump said in front of cameras as he vetoed the resolution, flanked by cabinet officials and Angel Families.

Trump repeated his view that a crisis existed at the border, called the resolution reckless and said he was proud to veto it.

To overturn Trump's veto, at least two-thirds of both the Senate and House of Representatives would need to vote to do so.

Trump declared a national emergency last month, after Congress authorized only $1.3 billion in border wall funding, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had asked for.

"The situation at the border has deteriorated, moreover, because the population of migrants crossing the border has shifted from one that consisted primarily of single adults from Mexico, who often could be promptly repatriated, to one that includes large numbers of families and children from Central American countries - people who cannot now be detained in any significant numbers and who are generally more hard to remove", the letter states. After many had spoken, Trump dramatically signed his veto message and then held the document up for the cameras to capture.

But on Thursday, Tillis cast his vote with the president, saying he was reassured by indications that Trump would support changes to the National Emergencies Act itself to rein in presidential powers going forward, and that his GOP colleagues also backed such legislation.

He praised the Republicans who voted against the bill as "strong, wonderful people".

Thursday's vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as a Wednesday vote on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. Trump was surrounded in the Oval Office by supporters who offered profuse thanks and frequent applause. The 12 GOP senators, including the party's 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress meant to be spent elsewhere.

Following the veto, the resolution will return to the House.

Trump has said he wants a wall to prevent immigrants from crossing into the United States, describing the situation as a national emergency.

"I think actually a national emergency was designed for a specific goal like this, so we have a great case", Trump said.

Trump made a border wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign for the White House.

"I was aggressively opposed to the Obama administration's attempts to circumvent Congress's appropriating authority to prop up Obamacare", Blunt said in a statement after the vote.

Congress declined and the result was the longest shutdown in USA history.

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